Danger was so of ten near him that it became almost another playmate. It made him quick and hardy and watchful; whether a boy met a rattlesnake in America or a tigersnake in Australia, the only thing that counted was, which moved more quickly—the snake or the boy. He knew all about forest fires, charging cattle, floods that swept down so swiftly that every man and woman, every boy and girl, had to work to breaking point to save the beasts. He knew the roaring danger of storms that swept through the trees, bringing great boughs to earth; of landslides that could carry away the whole hillside. And he might know what it was to make a wild journey across densely-wooded hills and valleys, perhaps on a sweating pony, perhaps on foot, to bring a hard-pressed country doctor to a woman whose life hung on his quickness.
All these things make men. They do not happen to boys in the old countries where the towns jostle each other and the people have learned to expect to have everything done for them. There, boys grow up today with far more learning, but perhaps not so much knowledge—the knowledge that comes from "feeling-with" Nature, from taking the rough with the smooth and finding the way out of difficulties unaided. Such things come naturally to the youngsters of the new countries, whose wits and muscles must serve them, since they begin to be independent when they are toddlers.
So I give the story of Hugh Russell to the boys and girls of America, believing that they will find him a brother, since what happened to him might just as well have happened to any American boy reared as he was—knowing that any American boy would have faced Hugh's problems with equal determination and pluck. Nita, who pranced with him along the Road to Adventure, was not a child of any country. She was